Toward the end of each year comes a very stressful time for shippers and others working in the supply chain product returns peak season. Before this comes peak season, a time when people place countless online orders or purchase in-store gifts for the holiday season. After a stressful time of countless orders placed and trying to manage the demand growth, tight capacity, and higher shipping rates of peak season, shippers have to navigate even worse during product returns peak season. However, having the proper technology advancements and access to data insight can make the season easier to manage through data-driven decision-making.
What Is Product Returns Peak Season?
The holiday shipping season, also known as peak season, is the prime shipping time for those in the supply chain. Peak season and product returns peak season go hand-in-hand and require more preparation and management than the normal shipping season. During this time, everyone wants their packages delivered on time and usually as soon as possible, causing huge issues with shipping. Following the stress and chaos of peak season comes another challenging time, product returns peak season. It’s a time when people return purchases or gifts from the holidays, which can cause issues with customer service and profitability if not appropriately handled. Shippers must prepare for the stress of both peak seasons.
Shippers Need Data to Account for Higher-Than-Usual Reverse Flows
To combat the struggles of product returns peak season, shippers need advanced automation to improve visibility, data-driven insights, and help with warehouse issues. Especially with the expectations of this year being even more stressful and hectic, shippers must prepare to their best advantage. As noted by Retail Brew, e-commerce retailers “ typically see a return rate of purchases around 30%, but that could jump to 40% given early shopping incentives.” As this season has a higher expectancy for peak season and product returns, the supply chain must prepare diligently. To have the information needed to forecast the workload and have data-driven decision-making throughout the shipping process, shippers need tech-driven automation and the ability to access valuable data.
Added Benefits of Data-Driven Product Returns Management
Data insights and analytics play a crucial role in proper visibility during peak season and product returns peak season. Managing prroduct returns can affect the overall management of the warehouse, storage, inventory, and products. As more and more returned products come in this holiday season, it can be challenging to understand the reason for the return, if the product needs to be recycled, and the overall time frame needed for the product returns. However, shippers with advanced technology and access to data and analytics can have benefits such as:
- Lower carrying cost
- Improved exception management
- Using the most suitable mode for each return
- Aggregating data to understand why product returns occurred
- Reassessing and redoing product returns policies
- Increase speed in managing repairs for products
- Predictive planning
- Accrual reporting and landed cost analysis
For the logistics of shipping, data plays a crucial role in proper management, especially in reverse logistics. When a product has to go from the customer back to the manufacturer, the process requires more preparation, management, and advantages. Through advanced technology, shippers will have the ability to use the data for more accurate shipping management. The ability to have data-driven insights and analytics can be the advantage to streamline the industry-wide product returns peak season.
Get Control in Product Returns Peak Season by Working With Intelligent Audit
As peak season and product returns peak season bring increased pressure and the need to focus on strategy throughout the supply chain, don’t forget about the benefits of data. Shippers need the advantage of fast and reliable data to have the ability to plan accordingly to forecast returns. Just like in peak season, customers expect everything to stay on time during product returns peak season and provide no extra hassle. Additionally, shippers need data-driven insights, key communication, and leverages through technology advancements to make this a reality and have a smooth process with reverse logistics. Contact Intelligent Audit today to see these benefits and gain the data needed to make it a less stressful product returns peak season.